Rains edge lake back over 11 feet

Rainfall this week was sufficient to bring Lake Okeechobee back up to the 11 feet above sea level mark. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, on June 13, the lake was at 11.08 feet. Rainfall in the Caloosahatchee River basin has also meant that no water was released from Lake Okeechobee at Port […]

OUA takes precautions when FWC sprays near water intake

A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission aquatic weed control program includes spraying chemical herbicides on Lake Okeechobee. Should Okeechobee Utility Association customers be concerned? According to Okeechobee Utility Authority Executive Director John Hayford, FWC has notified OUA that its contractors will be spraying near the utility’s water intakes within the next few weeks. “They […]

SFWMD budget for deep injection wells debated

WEST PALM BEACH — Emergency Estuary Protection Wells (EEPW) funding was debated during the public comments period of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board workshop meeting on June 12. Celese DePalma Audubon of Florida said she noticed the EEPW funding is in the SFWMD 2020 draft budget. “More often we experience drought […]

Task force seeks solutions to blue-green algae issues

On Wednesday, the state’s new blue-green algae task force started the complicated task of finding the most effective way to control harmful algal blooms. While much of the focus was on the Lake Okeechobee watershed and the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries, the panel discussed algae issues in the St. Johns River, the state’s springs […]

Audubon biologist finds himself at center of controversy

OKEECHOBEE — Dr. Paul Gray, of Florida Audubon, has been known to drink the untreated water from the marshy areas of Lake Okeechobee, illustrating his confidence that the marshes clean the water. Dr. Gray says a lot of good things are happening on the Big O with the return on some of the aquatic vegetation […]

Lawsuit filed to stop lake releases

FORT PIERCE — Conservation groups sued three federal agencies on June 11, claiming the agencies failed to address harm to Florida’s endangered species from Lake Okeechobee releases containing toxic algae. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida, challenges the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ “refusal to address the harms to human health […]

Lower lake level helpful this year, but not every year

Dr. Paul Gray of Florida Audubon chose his words carefully at the June 7 meeting of the County Coalition for the Responsible Management of Lake Okeechobee, the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Estuaries and the Lake Worth Lagoon. This year, he explained, the low lake level is good for the overall ecological health of the lake. […]

SFWMD workshop open to public

WEST PALM BEACH — The South Florida Water Management District’s (SFWMD) Governing Board is encouraging the public to attend the agency’s budget workshop on Wednesday, June 12, starting at 1 p.m. The workshop, which will be at SFWMD Headquarters at 3301 Gun Club Road in West Palm Beach, will be open to the public and […]

CDC algae study could include rivers as well as lake

CDC to study and monitor cyanobacterial blooms The Centers for Disease Control plan to study the health of Lake Okeechobee fishing guides has local anglers questioning the premise of the study and the reasons behind it: Why study the effect of algal blooms on anglers on the lake when the highest toxin levels are in […]

Algae bloom causes concerns

TALLAHASSEE — Florida’s new algae task force will meet today, just in time to discuss the latest round of algal blooms. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection will host the inaugural meeting of the Blue-Green Algae Task Force, on June 12 at 10 a.m. in Tallahassee. The meeting will be livestreamed on the Florida Public […]